This article accompanies the fable
In this allegorical dream-poem, the lover tells of his quest for the rose (his love) inside the walled garden. After he is shot with an arrow by Cupid, he has to deal with characters like Idleness, Jealousy and Foul Mouth who are in the way (Jealousy actually locks the Rose away in a tower). For all the inspiring allusions to the Garden of Eden and the Virgin Mary, the sexual innuendoes of plucking her rosebud ensured it remained popular for centuries.
The first section of Roman de la Rose was composed in the 1230’s by Guillaume de Lorris and it is more conventionally romantic. The much longer second section of the poem was written 40 years later, in the 1270’s, by Jean de Meun and it is bawdy and cynical about courtly love. Famously, this provoked an attack by Christine de Pizan around 1400 on the grounds that it was misogynistic. It’s not that she missed the satire; she just resented its flippancy and vulgarity toward women. Religious conservatives joined her in criticizing it because the one thing they could all agree on was that it encouraged young men and women to waste their lives reading romances.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti painted the scene his own way, below, titled Roman de la Rose.
Compare this with the legend of the Holy Grail.